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Poor Italian Ristorante

736 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem (947)
  • Special Occasion (789)
  • Fit for Foodies (746)

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Poor Italian Trattoria & Ristorante serves Vancouver, British Columbia. Poor Italian aims to make authentic and affordable plates of Italian cuisine that would be at home in a fine-dining restaurant. All pastas are hand cut and made to order in house. Additionally, all meats, vegetables and fruits are sourced from local suppliers to ensure freshness.

At Poor Italian, diners are continually treated to new surprises from its rotating seasonal menu. All the dishes are bright, vibrant and reminiscent of southern Italy. Popular items include the jumbo scallops with limoncello demi-glace, as well as the roasted sablefish, which is seasoned with Mediterranean salsa, sea salt and lemon. The portions are filling, but diners should save room for dessert, because Poor Italian is well-known for the Sicilian cannoli on its dessert menu.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Closed Mondays

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Phone number
(604) 251-1122
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Happy to host your private functions Tuesdays thru Sundays. Seating capacity up to 95 guests and up to 120 with our outdoor patio on warm summer days. Available for buy-outs and we are able to provide food for pick up anytime during normal operating hours.
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Cross street
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Parking details
Valet parking is offered Friday and Saturday evenings. Always free parking in our private lot. If the lot is full, you'll find ample free parking along Rupert Street.
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Public transit
Rupert Street is a major bus route
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We have an eclectic selection of music including classic cool jazz featuring Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and more! Sometimes, we even swing a little with Frank Sinatra. Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti are also known to softly serenade the dining room with favourite arias by famous Italian composers such as Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini and more!
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Special events & promotions
Available for wedding or baby showers, private birthdays, office parties at lunch or dinner and any other special occasion. We also have an outdoor patio on warm summer days...great food, fine wine and an outstanding view of the North Shore Mountains!
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 736 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipOpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on March 8, 2016

Incredible Veal Marsala, great portion size and no issue with substituting potatoes to linguini with fresh pesto!!
Loved it.

DMac (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on March 4, 2016

The flavours are excellent, good mix of vegetables included with the mains, Pasta starter was delicious, homemade nice light pasta, superb sauce.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on March 3, 2016

Awesome food, service is great! Well presented, tasty, Tirasimu was excellent also, will be back to try more food and desert. Well done !

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on February 20, 2016

One of the complaints that I had read is that the service is poor, but we had good service that night -- at the very least you do not feel uncomfortable. I ordered a carpaccio, ousobucco, and a tiramisu, and they are all good and fresh; carpaccio is made with tender tenderloin with enough greens and Parmesan cheese, the ousobucco is served with a delicious risotto. My mom enjoyed her veal scallopini with marsala sauce as well as the grilled veggies side dish, while my dad had a bowl of delicious mussel (they are fresh and big) and the daily risotto.

That being said, taste is subjective, and here are some that may turn people off:
1) some people may not like the greens on carpaccio
2) the risotto is too rich for my father
3) my mom like that the grilled veggies is flavorful without using much salt. I know one of my friend hate that because she dislike the veggies flavor

But for me, the experience and taste is better than some other restaurant in the city, including a famous steakhouse. Highly recommended.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
1.0  Dined on February 14, 2016

We were very disappointed in our Valentine's Day experience at the Poor Italian. First, we arrived on time for our reservation but were seated in a horrible location right by the dishes. This resulted in us constantly dealing with wait staff moving around us. When we were seated we asked if we could possibly move to a less busy area and were told 'no' as the restaurant was fully booked. However, throughout the evening there were multiple vacant seats in the more desirable areas of the restaurant. We were told that this was because there were many cancellations. We simply did not understand why the restaurant wouldn't fill their more desirable seats first to begin with. We were also disappointed with the waiting staff. The staff seemed very unhappy. There was a set menu for the evening. We felt that for the amount and quality of the food the price was too high. The food came in small portions and wasn't very good. I have been to the poor Italian once before and was very happy with the food and experience. I chose the poor Italian for my Valentine's Day dinner and was sadly very disappointed with the overall experience. I feel upset that I chose to spend my Valentine's Day evening in the restaurant.

Denny (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2016

Everything was GREAT service, drinks, and of course the food was outstanding, need I say more.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2016

Great experience, amazing food and great company. Our evening at the Poor Italian was a just spectacular. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Poor Italian for a wonderful night out.

vipzeero (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on February 12, 2016

We had a great meal. The service was prompt and the ambience was nice.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on February 6, 2016

The restaurant has a warm, friendly atmosphere with great service and yet still feels high-end. The owner is on site, which is always a nice touch and is willing to respond to any requests. The food is excellent, and purely Italian in its preparation.

On the slightly negative side, I did find the wine on the pricey side and believe that they could offer good choices at a less expensive price with a little research. And, while they promote one of their desserts as similar to spumoni ice-cream, I missed having the purely traditional dessert.

It is definitely a favourite place to eat, however, and will return often.

yukimiii (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on January 30, 2016

Enjoyed a wonderful dine out dinner. The owner was very friendly. My Caprese salad and Ling Cod were wonderful. The house special tiramisu was most delicious. Great for families. It was my brother's birthday and he had the creme brûlée. Everything was delicious.

Channer (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on January 29, 2016

Food was fresh and tasteful. Service was super prompt. Portions were descent. Parking lot is small and cramped. Go early to find a good parking spot.

wrichmo (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

We had a drink within minutes and felt that the service was excellent and attentive all evening. The food was great! Our group of 4 very much enjoyed everything we ordered. I will definitely come back!

Doug (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

Food, Service, friendly staff, what more could you ask for?

FoodAdventures (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on January 23, 2016

Very good food and service.

Hoping4 (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on January 22, 2016

Upon arriving the hostesses were very friendly, our server was great - the Dine Out menu looked good. My food was alright but my partner's (whose family owns a restaurant and has been in the industry for 30 years) definitely was not. The soup salty, the pasta rubbery and dry the tiramisu water logged.... You would think that with a Dine Out menu that you are wanting to make new customers; the food would definitely not make us come back. The exceptionally over priced wine - would not make us come back. The fantastic service unfortunately would not makes us come back BECAUSE when you go out to eat you want the meal to be just as superb.

We had heard from friends the food was quite good and were told to except the wine to be overpriced... Perhaps it was an off night?!?

We really were hoping for so much more...

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on January 17, 2016

The food at the Poor Italian is generally very good - it is one of my favourites in town. However, I have to say, we had very, very poor service on our last visit. We were a group of 5 for dinner for a birthday. The restaurant was almost empty. When the wait staff were told that none of our group would be drinking wine for the evening, we were told to hurry up and order all of our meal at once, because it would be a busy night because of dine out Vancouver. Needless to say, there was only one other table arrived during our whole visit, and the place was almost empty on a Sunday night. My guests questioned my choice of restaurants, not because of the food, but because of the poor way we were treated by the staff. Not only is it unlikely that I will be returning, I doubt very much any of my guests will be returning either.

Disappointed (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on January 16, 2016

We frequent at Poor Italian on other dinner occasions and with each visit, we found the food to be very good. But for the recent dine out experience, we were a bit disappointed with the dinner as the dinner set value, and the dishes did not seem to be up to the quality standard we have come to expect and enjoy.

The prawn linguine was too rich and dry with the thick sauce, and the prawns were a bit over cooked, and the vegetables more salty than usual. Even our beloved tiramisu seemed to be overly soaked with sauce thus each bite was a bit soggy.

Not sure if it was just an off night, but am hoping if we return after dine out, that the experience we've had found from before will be back again.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on January 15, 2016

For $40 pp - one would expect better quality and taste of food
Appetizers were good , the only entree that was good was the ling Cod... Desserts were a major let down- old puff pastry and overly bitter tiramisu

OpenTable Diner (Phoenix)
5.0  Dined on January 12, 2016

I recently took my mom to the Poor Italian prior to heading downtown for a show. We shared a starter, a pasta dish, and a dessert - all of which were very tasty! The service was fabulous. Attentive but unobtrusive. The noise level was comfortable with music in the background but quiet enough to have a conversation. We'll definitely be back sooner than later!

greatfoodbadservice (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on December 23, 2015

The food was delicious, the key waiters were full of contempt and made us feel unwelcome. It's difficult to say whether or not I would recommend this restaurant as there is great food all over the city. The Poor Italian is about the whole experience, and while our party enjoyed a lovely evening out, the inhospitable service from the key/head waiters was not necessary but nonetheless indulged in by those in charge. The side service staff were delightful, and the food was delicious. Some dishes were among the best I can remember ever tasting.